SL(6)327 – The Curriculum for Wales – Statements of What Matters Code

Background and Purpose

The Curriculum for Wales – Statements of What Matters Code (“the Code”) places a statutory duty on maintained schools and funded settings to ensure their design and planning of a curriculum under the Curriculum for Wales Framework includes, and draws from, the key concepts (or “statements of what matters”) set out in the Code. It updates and replaces the original version of the Code published on 15 November 2021 (“the Original Code”).

The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 (“the Act”) sets out the six areas of learning and experience on which maintained schools and funded settings must base their curriculum, namely expressive arts; health and well-being; humanities; languages, literacy and communication; mathematics and numeracy; and science and technology. The Code sets out 27 statements of what matters across those six areas. A curriculum designed or adopted by maintained schools and funded settings, and the associated learning and teaching, must encompass the statements of what matters in order to meet the requirements of the Act.

Procedure

Draft Negative.

The Welsh Ministers have laid a draft of the Code before the Senedd. If, within 40 days (excluding any days when the Senedd is: (i) dissolved, or (ii) in recess for more than four days) of the draft being laid, the Senedd resolves not to approve the draft Code then the Welsh Ministers must not issue the Code.

If no such resolution is made, the Welsh Ministers must issue the Code (in the form of the draft).

Scrutiny under Standing Order 21.7

The following 3 points are identified for reporting under Standing Order 21.7(i) in respect of the Code.

1.     The Explanatory Memorandum to the Code confirms (at paragraph 2.1) that the Welsh Government is currently updating (in draft) the online Curriculum for Wales Framework Guidance pending issue of the revised Code. The guidance was originally published on 28 January 2020 incorporating the 27 statements of what matters as set out in the Original Code.

The Memorandum notes that the Government is updating the guidance now “to allow schools and settings greater time to draw on that advice to inform their curriculum design and planning through the 2022/23 academic year”.

2.     The Explanatory Memorandum (at paragraph 2.1) indicates that the Code will be issued on 28 April 2023, subject to the draft negative Senedd procedure.

However, the Code was laid before the Senedd on 20 February 2023. Discounting periods of more than four days during which the Senedd is in recess, or scheduled to be in recess, the earliest date that the Code may be issued in accordance with the procedure set out in section 76 of the Act appears to be 29 April 2023.

3.     There appear to be some inconsistencies between the English and Welsh versions of the Code, which are listed in the Annex to this report.

Government response

A Welsh Government response to the second and third reporting points is required.

 

Legal Advisers

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee

8 March 2023

 


Annex

1.     On page 1 of the English text/page 2 of the Welsh text, in the entry for “Related Documents” at the bottom of the page, the word “guidance” is missing from the Welsh text. “Canllawiau” is used later in paragraph 1.5 of the Code as the Welsh translation for “guidance” in the same context.

 

2.     In footnote (2) for the final bullet point in paragraph 1.4, the English text refers to “children” and “pupil”. However, the corresponding Welsh text refers to “learners” and “learner”.

 

3.     In paragraph 1.5, there is a reference in both language texts to “pages 4 to 15 of this Code”. However, there is a difference in the numbering of the English and Welsh texts, as page 1 of the English text has been numbered as page 2 in the Welsh text. Therefore, the Welsh text should say “dudalennau 5 i 16 o’r Cod hwn” if following the page numbering currently found in the Welsh text.

 

4.     In paragraph 2.1.2, in the Welsh text, in the final paragraph, “challenges” has been translated as “ysgogi” which means “to inspire”. Everywhere else in Welsh text of the Code, it has been translated as “herio” which literally means “to challenge”.

 

5.     In paragraph 2.2.5, in the Welsh text, the term “relationships” has been translated as “cydberthnasau” (including its mutated forms) everywhere in that paragraph other than in the opening sentence. So, it appears inconsistent to use a slightly different word “perthnasau” in that sentence and suggests to the reader of the Welsh text that it bears a different meaning.

 

6.     In paragraph 2.3.4, in the second paragraph, the word “pluralistic” in the English text has been translated as “lluosieithog” in the Welsh text. However, “lluosieithog” means “plurilingual” and it is used with that meaning later in paragraphs 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 of the Welsh text.

 

7.     In paragraph 2.3.4, in the final sentence of the second paragraph,“ diverse” in the phrase “diverse history, cultural heritage,….” hasn’t been included in the Welsh text.

 

8.     In paragraph 2.3.4, there is a difference between the English and Welsh texts in the fourth paragraph. The English text includes the phrase “in the learners’ own locality” whereas the literal meaning of the corresponding Welsh text is “locally”. Therefore, it could be argued that the emphasis upon “in the learners’ own” is missing from the translation unless it is viewed as being implied. There are also a few other places in the Welsh text where the word “learner” seems to be considered as being implied rather than expressly stated (such as in paragraph 2.5.4).

 

9.     In paragraph 2.3.5, in the second paragraph, in the Welsh text, there’s a typographical error in the words that correspond to the phrase “in the UNCRC and UNCRPD”. The Welsh text states “i dan” for the words that correspond to “in the” which doesn’t make sense. The intention may have been to state “o dan” (literally, “under the UNCRC and UNCRPD”).

 

10.  In paragraph 2.5.1, in the Welsh text, there is a slight inconsistency in the translation of “number system” which is used in the heading and in the first paragraph. In the heading, “system rif” has been used as the translation, but in the first paragraph “system rifo” has been used.

 

11.  In paragraph 2.6.1, there is a difference between the English and Welsh texts. In the first paragraph, the opening words of the third sentence of the English text state “Developing and testing models…”. But the corresponding Welsh text has added an adjective that means “useful” after “models” so that the meaning it conveys is “Developing and testing useful models….”.

 

12.  In paragraph 2.6.1, the English text refers to “regarding the climate and nature emergency” but the Welsh text has translated the meaning as “regarding climate change”.

 

13.  In paragraph 2.6.5, in the final sentence, the English text refers to “responsible citizens of Wales and the world”. However, the words “of Wales and the world” are missing from the Welsh text.

 

14.  In paragraph 2.6.6, in the fourth sentence, the opening words of the English text states “To create and use digital technologies….” but the word “digital” is missing from the Welsh text.